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Friday, March 20, 2015

Frugal Fridays - The High Cost Of Putting Food On The Table

Despite my desire to spend less on groceries, I am finding that food inflation is outpacing my savings attempts. So how do we save money on food

It is quite scary to add up how much you actually spend on food and toiletries each month. I consider myself a thrifty cook but outside of serving rice and beans every night, it is crazy how much food costs these days.

Frugal Fridays - The High Cost Of Putting Food On The Table, cooking beets in the crockpot

To offset the high cost of feeding a somewhat large family, I try and cook almost all of our meals at home. Hubby and I do like to have a meal out alone once a week but we have changed from dinners out to breakfasts at a local place that with coupons and often sharing, we can get out of there for $20. Compared to what it would cost to go out for dinner, this is a big savings. We will do this now more often. I can then switch that money over to our grocery budget.

I debated whether to join Sam's Club again, but after crunching the numbers, it is more than worth it given how much I cook a week. Our family eats 2-3 loaves of bread a week because of breakfast and lunches for most of us made from home daily. Our older girls often fend for themselves out for lunch. I am of the mind that I will not be baking our own bread any time soon. With the chores, homeschooling, warmer and warmer temps in SoCal, animals and the work of the garden, I do not have time to take on one more task.
So Sam's provides some of the best deals on bread. However, if our market has a good special I will buy 4-6 loaves and freeze them.

The garden is yielding more now. We are currently picking lots of greens, radishes and bok choy. Five dinners so far of bok choy and greens for our vegetable is more than enough savings on the seeds spent to plant them. With warmer temps they are bolting so the chickens are getting a bunch a day and they love them. Saves on feed costs too. Beets are coming in and we love them. I did five successive plantings of beets packed in with my intensive gardening methods.

Other savings have been a repair to our car that we thought would be over $1000 ending up at only $350. Our van is 12 years old. We will drive it at least until the end of the year when we may replace with a newer used car. Our other cars are 13 and six years old. We like to drive them into the ground. Maintenance is key.

I have been using coupons whenever I can on purchases outside of groceries. A pair of shoes for myself and my daughter bought with a coupon saved me 15%. Both pairs we a little over $30 total for. I am pretty frugal about my own wardrobe since I do not work. I buy one to two pairs of shoes each season and that is it. I do not like a lot of clutter in the closet and prefer to buy basic apparel that goes with a lot of things.

What have you done this week to save money?

8 comments:

Susan said...

Hello Elaine.

I had just said to my husband, after going grocery shopping, "I don't know how families with children survive these days. Everything in the supermarket is so expensive and meat prices are astronomical."

A lady in front of me buying groceries made the clerk antsy as she handed him a large stack of coupons. She saved $50 on her grocery bill so who cares if the clerk didn't like it?

I think you are doing a wonderful job budgeting for your family. And the breakfasts out sound like a super idea, too. Susan

Nancy po said...

We saved a ton by shopping around for needed new tires, and got a free alignment thrown in. I also buy a ton at a grocery outlet and make a lot of roasted chicken, etc. for multiple meals. we eat a lot of non-meat foods, and lots of our own eggs. With just the two of us it's easier. You'll save a lot when your kids grow up and are on their own :)

Sarah Hamlin said...

It is really hard these days with kids. I've got 5 and really need to think outside the box in order to keep our food budget down. And it doesn't help I live in a more expensive part of the country that doesn't offer deals on food like in the south. Some of there food services are amazing. Sounds like u are doing a great job at keeping your costs down. :)

Sarah Hamlin said...

It is really hard these days with kids. I've got 5 and really need to think outside the box in order to keep our food budget down. And it doesn't help I live in a more expensive part of the country that doesn't offer deals on food like in the south. Some of there food services are amazing. Sounds like u are doing a great job at keeping your costs down. :)

Lexie said...

As a retired person on a low income having enough food is a month to month problem. I am vegetarian so I buy bulk beans. I only shop twice a month when sales are on food. I never eat out and cook all my meals. I am very frugal about meals and portions.

Debby said...

Groceries are high for sure. Glad I'm not feeding as many as I used to. Three sons, a daughter and a husband. It' a lot cheaper with only 2 but my things have to be gluten free. That's about double what regular food is.

Tina Leigh said...

We are blessed to not have to buy much meat. We hunt and fish and stay stocked with protein. 2 years ago, we started processing our own meat. So cube, stew, hamburger, roast, are all meat we do not buy. We have never bought fish in our 25 years of being married. We also grow a lot of our vegatables too and put them up. Fruit also. Blessed that if what we don't or can't grow, we can usually buy from another local farmer at a low price. It is still a struggle though. When gas prices were going down, I heard so many brag about that, yet no one seemed to notice the rising food prices! I bought a 2 pound bag of dried Lima beans (a staple for heaven sake) at Walmart that has sky rocketed to $5.59 a bag!!!! What the heck?! I was furious! Haven't cooked them yet either because some how I feel they must be MAGIC BEANS!!

Georgia Milton said...

The best way to save money on food is to grow your own vegetables and fruits, some animals too. But if you haven't this ability, coupons are great too. If you collect enough you can save a lot of money.

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